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Iran starts work on new nuclear plant

[ 2010-04-20 13:33]     字号 [] [] []  
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Iran has started work on a new uranium enrichment nuclear plant, a senior official said on Monday, part of a big expansion of its nuclear program which has contributed to fears in the West it aims to build a bomb.

Defying Western pressure to curb its sensitive nuclear work, Iran announced in November it planned to expand its enrichment activities by building 10 new sites. The announcement was condemned by the United States and its European allies.

"The president has confirmed the designated location of a new nuclear site and on his order the building process has begun," Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi, a senior adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, told the semi-official ILNA news agency.

"New locations on which the plants should be constructed this year have been determined and initial construction is underway," Samareh-Hashemi was quoted as saying.

Iran's top nuclear official Akbar Salehi told Reuters in February that Iran would start construction of two enrichment sites by March 2011.

Washington is pushing for a fourth round of United Nations sanctions on Iran in the coming weeks to pressure it to halt its enrichment-related work, which Teheran says is entirely peaceful.

Iran started higher-level enrichment in February, saying it needed the 20 percent enriched fuel for a research reactor in Teheran making medical isotopes. Such potent material is not necessary to generate electricity.

Teheran has said it is still willing to swap low-level enriched uranium for higher-grade fuel enriched abroad but the exchange must happen on Iranian soil.

The West believed it had persuaded Iran, at talks in Geneva last October, to hand over some of its uranium stocks to be enriched abroad, but that deal fell apart soon afterwards.


1. How many sites did Iran announce in November it was planning to build?

2. What is the name of the president?

3. When would construction begin on two of the sites?


1. 10.

2. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

3. March 2011.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Iran starts work on new nuclear plant

About the broadcaster:

Iran starts work on new nuclear plant

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.